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The green mile

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Miracles happen in the most unexpected places.

The death row block at Cold Mountain Correctional Facility is called "The green mile" because the trip to the death chair is called "Walking the mile" and the tile of the block is a dark green, like a jade.

Paul Edgecombe (Tom Hanks), the head of the block guards in the 1930s, is changed forever when a new inmate, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) is brought in as a transfer. Coffey is a towering black man, found guilty of the gruesome murder of two little girls, who appears gentle and meek, with the mind of a child. Edgecombe and the other guards (David Morse as Brutus "Brutal" Howell, Barry Pepper as Dean Stanton, Jeffrey Demunn as Harry Terwilliger) find themselves in a moral quandary when they see Coffey perform what appear to be healing miracles. This is a haunting tale of sacrifice and redemption.

Also starring Bonnie Hunt as Janice Edgecomb, James Cromwell as Warden Hal Moores, Michael Jeter as Eduard "Del" Delacroix, Graham Greene as Arlen Bitterbuck, Doug Hutchison as Percy Wetmore, Sam Rockwell as William "Wild Bill" Wharton, Patricia Clarkson as Melinda Moores, Harry Dean Stanton as Toot-Toot, Dabbs Greer as Old Paul Edgecomb and Eve Brent as Elaine Connelly. Written by Frank Darabont from the novel by Stephen King, directed by Frank Darabont.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Schmalz, but good schmalz.

By the end of the film you'll be feeling warm, fuzzy and more than a bit teary. The green mile hearkens back to the good old 1930s when an honourable man was a hero not a sucker, when a woman's place was in the home, when African-Americans knew their place and when God was everywhere. It's a Hollywood gloss job, of course, but if you let go of that for 3 hours you'll be swept up into a story of good and evil: good is good, evil is evil and sometimes they're both the same.

Michael is physically imposing but makes himself even moreso through his unthreatening nature. He's the embodiment of Henry Kissinger's "Talk softly and carry a big stick" theory. Tom is the decent, good and honest man who represents all that's decent and good (not to mention honest) about the USA. Tom suits that sort of role because he has an honest face. Remember Forrest Gump? Remember Big?

The green mile is a nice bit of drama for post-Olympic blues. Enjoy

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Behind-the-scenes Documentary: Walking the mile
  • Dolby Surround 5.1 audio track: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Arabic, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, German, Romanian, Bulgarian and English captions
  • Trailer: Theatrical

Security censorship classification

M (Adult themes, medium level violence)

Surveillance time

181 minutes

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD retail: 27 September 2000

Cinema surveillance images

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